Throughout the last days of Caitie Lucas’ young life, she became a viral sensation that inspired many; her loving parents also gave hope to many parents who followed their journey.
When she succumbed to the disease she fought so bravely, it was as if the whole country mourned with her loved ones.
“Thank you Lord for the grace that in 3 years we lived what was like 30 years,” wrote her parents in a heartfelt letter posted on her official Facebook page following her passing. “Her body was 3 but her soul lived like it was 30 years old in experience, in wisdom and beauty.”
Before the year ended, her parents shared the happy news that they were expecting another child, but Caitie’s courage will always be remembered and celebrated.
Scarlet Snow Belo
One of the pleasant surprises the past year brought was the revelation by celebrity doctors Vicki Belo and Hayden Kho that they welcomed their first child. Born through surrogacy, the smart, wide-eyed little one inspires her growing social media following time and time again with her advanced speech and reading skills. She also showcased her adorable dancing skills, love for animals, “tiger look” as well as her super cute sporty and selosa side this past year.
She’s appeared in print ads for her mother’s aesthetic empire and is quite possibly the most well-travelled 21-month-old around. The little jetsetter has traveled to Italy, France, Hong Kong, and Scotland—all in a span of a year! We can’t wait to see more of her OOTDs and out-of-the-country adventures in 2017!
100-day Maternity Leave Bill
After being pushed by the Senate in the middle of the year, the House Committee approved the Maternity leave bill months later. Once passed into law, it will allow working mothers to take an extended period of maternity leave.
As the year drew to a close, President Duterte expressed his support for the bill. Here’s hoping the bill is finally passed into law in 2017.
First-time celebrity moms breastfeeding in public
TV host Bianca Gonzalez shared the struggles of traveling while breastfeeding and even shared how she pumped milk during an NBA game. Another celebrity first time mom, Iya Villania proved that multi-tasking is the key to successful breastfeeding, even showing off how she breastfed between takes of a TV shoot.
New mom Marian Rivera also made headlines when she fired back at an online breastfeeding shamer, who criticized her for breastfeeding in public. Backing her up was good friend Ai-ai delas Alas who, as a mom herself, defended Marian’s right to nurse her baby when and where she sees fit.
photo: Ai-ai delas Alas instagram
More 2016 top stories on the next page
Celebrity Rainbow Babies
After heartbreaking miscarriages, actress Neri Naig and TV host Mariel Padilla both became moms in November 2016. Neri gave birth to her first child, Miguel Alfonso, with husband, Parokya ni Edgar frontman Chito Miranda on November 25.
Mariel welcomed her baby girl, Maria Isabella, three weeks before that.
Sadly, Mariel’s husband Robin Padilla couldn’t be in the U.S. to welcome their first daughter because he was unable to obtain a Visa.
photos from: Chito Miranda and Neri Naig’s Instagram accounts
The year 2016 also saw some of the most heartbreaking splits. Donita Rose’s marriage to her husband of 12 years, Eric Villarama ended. She confirmed the news on her good friend Mo Twister’s podcast. On the same show months later, she also revealed the real reason behind the split, which she termed “character issues”, and not financial reasons, like many suspected. Another celebrity split that left many stunned was the separation of Gab Valenciano and Tricia Centenara, who called it quits after only a year of marriage.
Sunshine Dizon also publicly revealed the identity of her husband’s alleged mistress along with a heated message, followed by stunning makeover and a legal battle. However, just in time for the holidays, the mom-of-two said she was willing to accept her ex-husband’s apology in the spirit of the holidays and for the sake of their two kids.
photos: Sunshine Dizon Instagram
IT Girls’ European weddings
2016 was the year when IT Girls Solenn Heusaff, Georgina Wilson, and Isabelle Daza were taken off the market.
In true IT girl fashion, the three wed their handsome beaus in romantic ceremonies in Europe. French-Filipino TV host/actress Solenn tied the knot with Nico Bolzico in France. Georgina wed her British partner Arthur Burnand in the English countryside. Isabelle married Adrien Semblat in an idyllic Italian town.
Their instagram-worthy looks made their followers swoon and so did their wedding films!
photo: Georgina Wilson, and Pat Dy Instagram accounts
Celebrity moms post-pregnancy fitness
Each year, celebrity moms inspire us with their journeys to getting back in shape. In 2016, Iya Villania shared how she managed to stay active throughout her pregnancy with the help of her gym ball, mini-core ball, waist trainers, and jungle gym. Beauty Gonzalez credited breastfeeding and caring for her kid as her best fitness regimen. Of course, diet and exercise helped her, too!
But not all celeb moms resumed working out after giving birth. James Yap’s partner Michaela Cazzola shared how she chose to wear a waist corset until she’s ready to work out again. Isabel Oli is also still preparing for exercising again. She opened up about losing the baby weight in a recent blog entry.
photos: Isabel Oli, Michela Cazzola, Beauty Gonzalez Instagram accounts
More 2016 top stories on the next page
Aiko Melendez transformation
Actress Aiko Melendez’ struggles with weight loss are no secret, so it was truly inspiring to see her weight loss transformation in 2016; it was a decision she made when she turned 40. She managed to lose 50 lbs. in less than year and she flaunted her slimmer figure and workout regimens on Instagram, inspiring many of her fans to get fit!
But what’s perhaps the most inspiring was how she came clean about undergoing non-invasive beauty procedures to help her achieve her weight loss goals.
photos: GMA and Aiko Melendez instagram
Zika in the Philippines
After making international headlines, the dreaded Zika virus reached the Philippines. The first case last year was a 45-year-old married woman from Iloilo City, but the very first Zika case in the country was recorded back in 2012.
Two months later, 34 cases had been recorded in Metro Manila, Cavite, Iloilo, and Cebu, the last of which was a pregnant 16-year-old living in Las Piñas.
Previous reports noted fetal developmental abnormalities in pregnant women who tested positive for the disease, most commonly: microcephaly. Zika was also found to be the cause of certain hearing loss and heart ailments.
Devoted dad continues breastfeeding baby after wife dies
Viewers nationwide were beyond touched by the story of Anton Ramos, a dad of two who fulfilled his wife’s dying wish to continue breastfeeding their baby. He lost his wife to cancer after she gave birth to their second son.
With the help of generous breastfeeding moms’ milk donations, Anton is able to make sure his youngest son is getting the nutrition and care he needs as he grows.
Look back on Anton’s touching story through the clip below.
More 2016 top stories on the next page
Andi Eigenmann confirms Jake Ejercito is the real dad of her daughter
Many assumed that the father of Andi Eigenmann’s daughter Ellie was her ex-boyfriend Albie Casiño, but then tongues started wagging when Andi’s former flame Jake Ejercito grew increasingly close to her daughter.
In 2016, her fans suspicions turned out to be true and it was confirmed that her biological dad is really Jake Ejercito. Andi’s cousin Max was the first to confirm it on Mo Twister’s podcast. A few weeks later, Jake himself confirmed it, clarifying that he never really denied it and that he underwent a paternity test a year ago. Wanting to protect Ellie was the main reason why they kept it under wraps.
For her part, Andi simply confirmed it and allowed Jake to spend more time with their daughter. Ellie even met her paternal grandparents, former President Joseph Estrada and Laarni Ejercito.
St. Scholastica’s student protesters
When photos of students from one of Manila’s most prestigious exclusive schools protesting former dictator Ferdinand Marcos’ Burial started circulating online, it stirred up controversy. Though St. Scholastica has always been known to encourage free thinking and social awareness, many believed the children in the photos were too young to be participating in defiant behavior.
Senator Risa Hontiveros believes otherwise and posted a photo of her as a young student with a caption on facebook in defense of her alma mater, writing: “No child abuse at all. Just learning & a joyful awakening to activism.”
One of the student’s parents Melay Guanzon shared in an interview with theAsianparent that the student’s were not coerced by their elders in any way and that the parents were aware of the protest.
She believes it’s the parent or guardian’s responsibility to explain important issues to their kids.
“Being in a school that has similar values is also important. These are things that kids see in others,” said Melay, “they should be the first to treat their kids with respect – asking them, and listening to, what they think and processing things together so that they know that being a kid doesn’t mean not being able to think for themselves.”
photo: St. Scholastica facebook
More 2016 top stories on the next page
Woman gives birth on a flight from Manila to Dubai
It was supposed to be a regular 9-hour flight to Dubai, but passengers and flight attendants of a Cebu Pacific plane were stunned when one of the pregnant women on board started going into labor five hours after take off.
“Flight attendants started calling for medical assistance, and luckily, there were two nurses among the passengers. She was already crowning, so she was brought to the more spacious area in front of the plane,” one of the passengers, Missy Umandal, narrates in a Facebook post, adding how the woman herself was surprised as her due date was months away.
“We only heard one semi-loud screech, and a few seconds later, there were tinier, cute screeches, and it was when we knew the baby was born. Luckily, she [passenger] only had to push once,” continued Missy.
The baby was named Haven and although she was born as they were flying over India, she was granted a Filipino citizenship. This is in accordance with the rules of the United Nations Convention on International Civil Aviation, under the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness, which states that a baby born on a ship or aircraft will take the “citizenship” of the ship or airline. (Cebu Pacific is based and registered in the Philippines.)
Missy also claimed the baby has been granted free flights for life, as is a common practice for most airlines, but Cebu Pacific has yet to confirm this.
photos: Missy Umandal Facebook
Shamcey Supsup Babywearing
When beauty queen Shamcey Supsup-Lee proudly shared a babywearing selfie, she wasn’t expecting it would spark a debate.
While many heaped praise upon the new mom for maintaining her figure and for making the choice to babywear, others weren’t so supportive. One user commented that the practice may lead to bowleggedness (“sakang“) because of the baby’s leg positioning, while others were concerned that her baby might be too young to be worn as it might impede her breathing or injure her spine.
However, experienced Babywearers came to Shamcey’s defense, clarifying that babies are “naturally bowlegged, and that this will self-correct when they are around 3 years old”. Some moms suggested the use of an infant insert, which position small babies correctly, along with her soft-structured carrier (SSC).
A photo posted by Shamcey S. Lee (@supsupshamcey) on
Joey Mead’s husband Ian King becomes her wife Angie
One of the most inspiring love stories that challenged societal norms was that of Joey Mead and her husband Ian.
When Ian, now Angie, announced her transition, she was met with love and support from their family, friends, and fans. Angie gave credit to her wife Joey for being his “rock and number one supporter”.
The two remain happily married, inspiring many couples that “love is love” and it knows no limits.
A photo posted by Angelina Mead King (@hailtothe_queen_) on
The stories are in no particular order or ranking
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